Jun 20, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Fourteen
The only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with wild theories and detours onto unrelated topics.
It’s your unhelpful guide to Round Thirteen.
West Coast vs Essendon (OS) Seven & Fox 8:10pm All times AEST
What a relief there’s a game on to remind us that the AFL is still technically a football competition, not a three-ring circus.
It’s hard to tell after the week we’ve just had, but one thing is for sure, there are no Behavioural Awareness Officers at Eagles games. If there were, they’d kick so many people out for booing they’d be a GWS size crowd left by the end.
The Eagles dropped a game to the Swans before their bye, and as a result, they’ve dropped four players for this game. I’d say who they are, but only West Coast fans would have heard of them.
West Coast does get Shannon Hurn, Elliot Yeo, and Chris Masten back, and I am vaguely aware of all of them.
Normally, Jake Stringer not being able to go on a trip with you is a good thing, but for, Essendon, it’s a terrible outcome.
The Bombers have been really bad and then quite good, they send a lot of mixed signals to their fans. They remind me of a girl I had a crush on in high school. One day she’d act like I didn’t exist, and the next day act like I was dead. Actually, she was pretty consistent now I think of it.
Who’s laughing now, though? She became a CEO, married a former male model and now lives in the south of France, while I write these columns in the dark with food stains on me while my mum’s new boyfriend asks where the rent is.
Anyway, Eagles to win.
Sydney vs Hawthorn (SCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
Jeff Kennett was right to call out those pesky new arrivals. At least, my understanding is a ‘new arrival’ is anyone with just a restricted MCC membership.
But I’m told he was referring to the ethnic background of the security staff at Marvel Stadium. Is it possible to get through an AFL season without a club president bringing up race? It would appear not, which is surprising, I would have thought not saying something racist is something you can at least hold off on for the footy season. I mean, in cricket season go nuts, get it out of your system.
I’m not that worried about where stadium security is from; I’m more concerned that they are generally poorly paid and poorly trained. Whenever I see them, I’m just glad we’re not in America or they’d probably be armed.
Perhaps Jeff was just trying to distract from his captain’s rather bizarre performance last week. Pinching people is something you certainly need to get consent for before you do it. I know, I checked with the head of HR at work, and they said you did, and I needed to stop doing it.
Stratton, of course, got two weeks for stomping and pinching, it wasn’t like he’d put a bet on or anything.
The Swans have been in good form lately, which has seen them rocket up the ladder to 15th.
If only they hadn’t begun the season like a drunk stumbling out of a bar.
Swans to win.
Melbourne vs Fremantle (MCG) Fox 1:45pm
In this season from hell, every Demons supporter knows it’s perfectly poised for Jesse Hogan to break loose and kick ten against his old side. If any side can build your confidence, it’s Melbourne.
With the bye now behind them, it dawned on me that I’ve still got a long way to go before I can just wipe this season from my memory and spend some time pretending that barracking for a BBL team actually means something.
Until then I’ll have to watch Melbourne continue to butcher forward entries in new and exciting ways.
Fremantle, on the other hand, have shown real improvement in recent weeks, and Melbourne at the G won’t worry them at all, they’ve owned the Demons for a long time, winning eight of the past ten games against them.
Do the Demons have any answers for Michael Walters? I’m not sure they even know the questions.
Dockers to win.
St Kilda vs Brisbane (MS) Fox 4:35pm
With Carlton and North replacing their coaches already, and the Saints almost losing to the Suns, Alan Richardson might want to send Ben Stratton, Jeff Kennett, Jaidyn Stephenson and the Behavioural Awareness Officers some flowers to say thanks for taking away the heat.
The Saints were horrible last week, and if you struggle to beat the Suns, I’m not sure you’d go in terribly confident against the Lions.
Brisbane have their own problems though, they lost to Carlton before their bye round, a shame that will linger with those players for the rest of their lives.
It means they should be pretty keen to make amends. Coming off a bye against a team that played in Townsville last week and happens to be St Kilda, this is one they should win.
They haven’t been great on the road, but I think Brisbane will get this one.
Port Adelaide vs Geelong (AO) Seven & Fox 7:40pm
In the past month, Port have been to Tasmania, China, and Perth, with a bye round thrown in.
The only one of those they won was against the Saints in China, and unfortunately, no one was there to see it.
It means the only stat the Power are leading the comp in is frequent flyer points. I know the China trip brings in the money, but it real does make it hard on the players, especially as the AFL scheduling department looked at the China trip and thought ‘let’s send them to Tassie then Western Australia too’.
Now the Power finally, do have a home game, and they get Geelong, who look unstoppable at the moment.
The Cats are doing well off the field too. You never hear their president say anything racist, at least publicly, and to my knowledge, the players are not all placing wagers on their games, although I wouldn’t bet on that.
Geelong even have West Coast’s best player in Tim Kelly.
I can’t see the Power winning this, even at home, on account of the fact they aren’t very good.
Western Bulldogs $3.55 vs Collingwood $1.30 ,(MS) Fox 3:20pm
Well look at that, back just in time for finals, what an odd coincidence. To be fair though, we all know the AFL just make theses sentences up as they go along.
Every time there’s a scandal in the AFL, they first act surprised it’s happened, and then pull a figure out of the air that always appears heavily negotiated, while at the same time seeming completely random.
Jaidyn Stephenson may have got a lengthy suspension, but it’s amusing to watch the AFL get on their moral high horse about the ‘integrity of the game’ while also taking tens of millions of dollars from gambling companies, to help them encourage people to gamble.
Oh, I know a player engaging in bets on their own game is a threat to the sport and is stupid, but it amuses me greatly that at the same time you can’t go on the AFL’s own website without being bombarded with gambling advertising. Lucky kids would never go on the AFL website isn’t it AFL?
I’m not necessarily anti-gambling, partly because I think just banning it doesn’t work, and it would be hypocritical of me to get on my high horse too much about its ills.
After all, I love drinking and alcohol causes a lot more damage in society than gambling, but I’d be annoyed if they banned it just because some people can’t handle it.
But surely, the pendulum on sport betting has swung way to far, when the major betting companies are all huge foreign-owned corporations and the advertising is just forced down our throats. It’s got to the point where I had a moment recently when I realised I was watching gambling ads, occasionally interrupted by some footy.
The British government used to have a policy approach to gambling that was ‘service, don’t encourage’.
The idea was to legalise gambling, so criminals don’t profit from it but you don’t actively promote it.
Somewhere along the way, our governments and sporting administrations moved to active promoters of gambling, and now they all act shocked when someone does gamble.
They’re bewildered that this could happen, despite they themselves creating the very environment for it to happen.
Collingwood to win this, and please, as always, gamble responsibly.
Byes: Adelaide Crows, Carlton, Gold Coast Suns, GWS Giants, North Melbourne, Richmond
You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. I aim to keep as much of my stuff on this site and available to everyone and not behind paywalls.
Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus